Tremor strikes near Bela Bela

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A seismologist shows a graph that registers earthquakes and tremors. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Johannesburg - A magnitude four earth tremor struck near Bela-Bela in Limpopo, the Council for Geoscience said on Tuesday.

The tremor, which occurred on Monday at 9.20pm, was felt as far afield as Parkhurst and Randburg in Johannesburg, Hartebeespoort Dam in North West, Witbank and KwaMhlanga in Mpumalanga, and Soshanguve near Pretoria, seismology unit manager Michelle Grobbelaar said.

The epicentre was approximately 25km south-east of Bela-Bela.

On November 18, an earth tremor of a similar magnitude shook Johannesburg, with its epicentre near the University of Johannesburg in Auckland Park.

A tremor of this magnitude could make hanging pictures swing and create a sensation similar to vibrations caused by a large truck passing, according to the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale. It could cause windows and dishes to rattle, and could make stationary cars rock slightly.

Grobbelaar said it was not suspected that the two events were linked.

“Due to the distance between the two, we do not suspect that there is any relationship between this one and the one on November 18,” she said.

Excited South Africans posted their experiences on Earthquake-report.com.

A Johannesburg resident wrote: “... I felt the bed tremble and the roof creaked and groaned loudly as if there was someone on the roof. This lasted no more than three seconds. I was freaked out.”

A person from Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria posted: “It felt like a truck just hit a wall or something.”

A resident of Warmbaths, Limpopo, described it as “almost like someone was playing super loud bass music”.

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